Written by Caitlin Graaf
There are many ways to view game in Botswana. Whether you prefer to trace dusty roads by 4×4 vehicle, glide silently over the glassy waters of the Okavango Delta’s riverine pathways by mokoro, navigate narrow foot paths on your own, or get closer to nature than ever on horseback, one experience soars above the rest.
From above, travelers are awarded with a new perspective. As you rise from ground level, Botswana’s wild spaces sprawl below, stretching from horizon line to horizon line. Extraordinary views offer an opportunity to marvel at how remote the untouched areas in Botswana’s northern territories truly are.
An aerial perspective is the only way to gain an appreciation for the lattice of reflective rivers, floodplains, and narrow tracks forged by wandering herbivores as they slowly meander through the dense vegetation of the delta. Fly east and a helicopter safari in Botswana will reveal the secrets of the country’s phenomenal herds: witness a brown mass of buffalo from above as they graze, and watch mega-herds of elephant over 100-individuals strong wallow in rivers, wrinkling the gray water beneath them.
A helicopter safari in Botswana is undoubtedly once of the most unique experiences for travelers in Southern Africa. Choosing your destination and the type of helicopter experience you would like to have is just the next step.
Helicopter safaris in Botswana can take different forms. For guests who want to catch a glimpse of the Okavango from above, a short flip might suffice. Certain safari companies will take flight for around half an hour – long enough to give guests a feel for the landscape, but short enough to allow travelers to spend the rest of their day navigating the bush by vehicle, foot, or horseback for more personal game encounters.
Some longer flights are available; however, for guests who want to experience a real helicopter safari in Botswana, an expedition may be in order. Expeditions lift off in the morning, taking guests on a chartered journey deep into the remote reaches of Botswana’s wilderness. Flights can last up to a couple of hours before touching down in an area potentially unreachable by car. A mobile camp is set up by your guide and lunch is served in the heart of Botswana. Expeditions move forward by foot or horseback and can evolve into overnight camping experiences for an unparalleled bucket-list safari.
The landscapes from Chobe National Park in northeastern Botswana, through the Linyanti Reserve, Savute Channel, and Selinda Spillway all the way to the Okavango Delta each provide exceptional opportunities to view both game and beautiful scenery from the skies. The experience helicopter safari in Botswana can vary depending on what area and outfitter a traveler chooses.
The Linyanti Reserve plays host to a dynamic array of pristine habitats ranging from open grasslands to varied woodland ecosystems. Linyanti Bush Camp and Linyanti Ebony Camp make use of their stellar surrounds by offering a 30-minute helicopter flight to guests as a part of their Linyanti Delta Experience.
Belmond Eagle Island Lodge’s dynamic helicopter safari in Botswana is also worthy of consideration. The heli-flip is in an open-sided aircraft, offering uninterrupted of panoramic views to enjoy the abundant wildlife below.
This lodge expertly juxtaposes the aerial experience with one that gets you closer to nature than ever; the flight is combined with a horseback safari through streams, floodplains, and mopane woodlands, accompanied by a specialized guide. Riding in the bush allows guests to move silently, without interrupting skittish wildlife and the full or half-day experience leaves guests feeling equally energized and educated about this incredible ecosystem.
For an epic helicopter safari in Botswana’s Selinda Spillway, check out Duba Plains Camp. Launching from a local airstrip, rise into the skies for phenomenal views over this beautiful area of Botswana, keeping watch for wildlife below.
Intrepid travelers can choose to ‘fly camp’ in the bush for the evening, bidding the helicopter farewell to stay in the wilderness, accompanied by an expert guide, sleeping under the stars in basic but comfortable tents.
A helicopter safari in Botswana is a sure way to be rendered awestruck; watching giant herds kick-up dust as they walk, admiring the delta’s twisting waterways, and seeing the scenery disappear into the horizon line from above may be the most surreal experience Botswana has to offer.
Get in touch with one of our safari experts to book your bespoke safari to Botswana.